Every time I hear the song “Be Our Guest” and the part where they sing about trying the grey stuff I think of my father in law.
It’s no secret that when the husband and I got married I had no idea how to cook. It was a comedy of horrors in our kitchen until around 1998 when my father in law came down to visit us while we were stationed in Florida. My father in law was an excellent cook and decided that for the week he was down there he would make the meals to make it easier on me. Once he started puttering around my kitchen he realized that many things were lacking; my pots and pans, my spices, and most importantly my cooking skills.
One morning on his way home from watching the sunrise on the beach he stopped at our local Walmart and bought me a pot and pan set that I could use for everything. He also purchased utensils, spices, seasonings, and some pantry staples. He called me into the kitchen when he returned to show me the bounty laid out on the kitchen counter, it felt like Christmas.
The rest of the week was cooking lessons where he shared with me how to pick out cuts of meat, how to cook all sorts of things, and how to make a couple of items that were sure to wow whoever was at the dinner table. Today I am going to share my recipe for Split Pea Soup that he shared with me so many years ago that I have adapted to my taste. This recipe is great for using up leftover ham after a holiday or you know, when you have leftover ham. This soup takes two days to cook, you can’t rush awesomeness like this.
What you’ll need
- Two 1# bags of split peas
- Two carrots, diced
- One cup of diced ham
- One ham bone
- One Small minced onion or 1/4 cup of dried minced onion (I prefer the dried minced onion)
- 2 tablespoons of garlic (I use the kind that is in a jar in the produce section)
- Season salt
- Old bay
- 32 ounces of chicken or vegetable stock
Let’s Start Cooking
Sort your split peas to make sure there are no rocks or other things in the bag, there is no need to rinse the peas. Place the ham bone on the bottom of a large saucepan (I believe mine is 8 quarts). Dump all of the ingredients on top of the bone and stir. Add water to cover the ham bone. Turn on medium-low and let it cook. You will have to stir occasionally. After it starts to get a good bubble to it you can turn it down to low and just let it simmer. Still stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed. After a few hours you can remove the ham bone from the pot. Give it a good stir, making sure you get the stuff that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add more water. You will know it is done when you can’t make out any shapes from the carrots or peas and it is smooth.
If you have leftovers you can freeze them and when you pull them out just add more water and cook on low.